Bullet-riddled bodies of two children and their mother are found in California home after 'stepfather gunned them down in grisly murder-suicide'

  • Bodies found in blood-smeared home late Monday in Fontana, California
  • Victims said to be boy, 10, girl, 12, their mother and their stepfather
  • They were discovered by the mother's son, 16, who went to check on the family after he had been unable to contact them
  • Neighbors reported hearing arguing before family was found dead

By Michael Zennie

|

A California man gunned down his wife and her two children in their home on Monday night before turning the gun on himself, police believe.

Neighbors reported hearing the Fontana, California family arguing before the violence broke out.

The mother's oldest son, 16, went to the house to check on the family after he had failed to hear from them and found them dead, authorities said.

He discovered his mother and siblings, a 10-year-old boy and 12-year-old girl from a previous marriage, riddled with bullets. It was not clear how long they had been out of contact with the teen.

Scroll down for video

Crime scene: Fontana police arrive at a home on Tuesday where a family of four were found shot to death

Crime scene: Fontana police arrive at a home on Tuesday where a family of four were found shot to death

Probe: A detective, center, asks distraught neighbors questions in front of the home on Tuesday

Probe: A detective, center, asks distraught neighbors questions in front of the home on Tuesday

The stepfather, said to be in his late 30s or early 40s, was found dead with a single gunshot wound to the head. Police believe he killed himself.

A handgun was found and no suspect was being sought, police spokeswoman Martha Guzman-Hurtado said.

'Everything that has been confirmed so far indicates it could be a murder-suicide but that has not been confirmed,' Guzman-Hurtado said.

 

'They are questioning other people before making that conclusion.'

Neighbors told the KNBC-TV that they heard screaming and gunshots about 10pm following an argument in the house.

It appeared all four lived in the home, Sgt Imhof said. The victims appeared to be a family but identifications by the coroner are pending.

Tragedy: A forensics specialist drives away from a home (in background) where a suspected triple murder and suicide occurred in Fontana, California. The victims were found by a 16-year-old relative

Tragedy: A forensics specialist drives away from a home (in background) where a suspected triple murder and suicide occurred in Fontana, California. The victims were found by a 16-year-old relative

Neighbors in the quiet California neighborhood were shocked by the murders. Many said their children played with the boy and girl who were murdered

Neighbors in the quiet California neighborhood were shocked by the murders. Many said their children played with the boy and girl who were murdered

Detectives found the bodies and blood spread throughout the house but had stopped the investigation while they sought a search warrant.

'There is some amounts of blood in different areas of the house,' Fontana police sergeant Doug Imhof told reporters.

Jonathan Garcia, 22, lives across the street and was watching television at about 8.30pm when he heard yelling, he told the Associated Press.

'I hear "get down, get down!" I recognize that as a cop's voice,' he said.

Garcia said he looked through the window and saw police in SWAT gear with submachine guns.

'So I come outside. They're all rushing at the house. There's a younger kid, probably 16 years old. He's screaming and yelling ... he's saying "that's my mom! That's my mom!"'

Police handcuffed the frantic teen as he called for help, Garcia said, adding: 'They were still trying to figure out what happened.'

Grisly: A forensics specialist removes a bag from the home where the bodies were found riddled with bullets

Grisly: A forensics specialist removes a bag from the home where the bodies were found riddled with bullets

Busy: Camera crew keep a distance from a home where a suspected triple murder and suicide took place

Busy: Camera crew keep a distance from a home where a suspected triple murder and suicide took place

Garcia said a woman outside the house was crying and kept screaming in Spanish: 'They're all dead, they're all dead. He killed them all!'

Garcia said the family had lived in the home about three years.

'They were friendly. My dad talked to him (the husband) every now and then,' Garcia said.

Guzman-Hurtado said the last time police visited the home was in June 2010 for an unspecified code-enforcement matter.

'It's a sad day in Fontana,' Guzman-Hurtado said. 'This is one of those days where we're all supposed to be celebrating with family, making new memories with family as we say goodbye to 2013 and welcome the New Year. It's not a day to be mourning lives lost.'

The home is in Fontana, a city of about 200,000 people in San Bernardino County about 50 miles east of downtown Los Angeles.


The comments below have not been moderated.

How awful. I can only hope this heinous crime was quick so that these people didn't suffer. Thoughts and prayers to the families involved. - lifeis, NJ, United States, 12/31/13 18:42 Everyone, likely, agrees. Could you, however, enlighten us as to how to identify them?

0
0
Click to rate

If he didn't have a gun he would do it another way like the mother last week that tried to poison her kids! Why are there so many unstable people is the question while everyone's whining over guns. Mentally sane people don't take out their whole family! - CraftyArtist, Boston, USA, 12/31/13 20:52 To a great extent they are sorely disappointed democrats/ Socialst/ moochers who feel overwhealmed because the promise of Nirvana has materialized. When it dawns on the that they aren't going to become wealthy on the backs of others, it's too much, and off the rails they go. It's a real shame, but a phase predictable.

0
0
Click to rate

Another poster boy for Fathers4Justice.

0
1
Click to rate

When are we going to ban liberals in this country they are teaching in out schools and thats only going to make matters worse.

1
1
Click to rate

Just great, another whole family including 2 young children dead by parent. I guess it's just not going to end, and it seems there is nothing anyone can do. Very sad for the 3 innocent victims.

0
7
Click to rate

We have a serious mental health problem that needs to be addressed DC.

1
5
Click to rate

god where art thou....

5
8
Click to rate

I cannot imagine the shock and grief by the 16 year old son that found his mom and siblings. How sad for him. Why, oh why do these people have to kill everyone else around them? RIP and I do hope the 16 year old has other family close by where he can get the support he needs. Tragic, just tragic for the innocent victims.

0
21
Click to rate

what a nightmare. poor kids

0
21
Click to rate

This is so sad... my thoughts are with the 16 yr old kid who tragically lost his mother and brother/sister. NAMO AMITUOFO

1
17
Click to rate

The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.

By posting your comment you agree to our house rules.

Who is this week's top commenter? Find out now